Aspiring tech entrepreneur Will.i.am is thinking about the future. Undeterred by the weak reception of smartwatch line, Puls, the Black Eyed Peas founding member yesteday launched 3D printer and sustainable lifestyle brand, Ekocycle, at Harrods department store in London. At the event, his thoughts on 3D printing were as grand as his goal to one day build a 10,000 person "Willy Wonka factory" for creative innovation:
"Moses comes down with the 10 commandments and says 'Thou shalt not…'. He didn't say shit about 3D printing," Will.i.am told Dezeen. "So new morals, new laws and new codes are going to have to be implemented." So, what does he think they should be? "I don't know," he says. "I could create life. So new codes and morals—beyond laws. Something has to be instilled into us."
Given recent advancements in 3D printing technology, he may have a point. But while a number of celebrities and public figures, from M.I.A. to President Obama, have acquainted themselves with the burgeoning technology, few have been as vocal as Will.i.am is about its implications. "We're going to a place we've never been before. We made a Will, we made a car, we made a house, we made a boat, we made flying machines. Before, when it was time to reproduce you had to mate. But now…"
"Eventually 3D printing will print people," Will.i.am continued. "I'm not saying I agree with it, I'm just saying what's fact based on plausible growth in technology." Considering that its possibilities already range from human-sized sculptures to even teleportation, it's safe to say that additive manufacturing will have a strong presence in the future. Thankfully, Will.i.am still believes it's up to the "test of time" to determine whether he'll be lauded as a designer, beyond just a seven-time Grammy award-winner. "You can't demand that because you're famous, everyone's supposed to like what you're passionate about. No bro, you have to earn it." And respect, at least for the time being, isn't something you can 3D print.